Shiki Real Estate Blog

“Machiya Living: Embrace the Elegance and Serenity of Kyoto’s Traditional Homes”

Written by Shiki Real Estate

Shiki is one of Kansai’s foremost real estate brokers, experienced in working with both local and international clients. Our international experience and outlook, leaves us best-positioned to meet the multi-faceted needs of our varied client base.

May 14, 2023

Kyoto, a city steeped in captivating history and cultural wonders, boasts a remarkable architectural gem known as the machiya. These traditional wooden townhouses grace the charming streets of Kyoto, offering an extraordinary living experience that unravels the city’s vibrant past.

If you’re a foreign customer seeking to purchase a house in Kyoto, you may be intrigued by the allure of a machiya. In this blog post, we invite you to delve deeper into the world of machiya, exploring their captivating history, distinctive features, and an array of benefits they present as your potential new home.

What is a Machiya?

Machiya stands as a testament to the glorious heritage of Japan, tracing its origins back to the Edo period (1603-1868). Once a ubiquitous sight across Japan’s cities, these wooden houses were ingeniously designed with a slender frontage that harmoniously blends with the surrounding neighborhood. Extending deep into the lot, they create an elongated, yet surprisingly spacious living area, perfect for accommodating multiple generations of a family.

Originally crafted for merchants, artisans, and industrious residents, machiya often served dual purposes as both a dwelling and a workspace for their respective businesses. In Kyoto, they gained particular prominence among kimono merchants, who elegantly utilized the first floor of their homes as a shop while reserving the upper floors for comfortable living quarters.

Features of a Machiya

Machiya enthrall with their distinctive architectural features, setting them apart from other housing styles. Here are some of the captivating elements that define a machiya:

  • Narrow frontage: Machiya delicately grace the streets with their slender facades, blending seamlessly into the traditional tapestry of the neighborhood.
  • Expansive layout: While the frontage may appear modest, the house extends generously into the lot, unveiling surprisingly spacious interiors for your utmost comfort.
  • Wooden craftsmanship: The entire construction of a machiya exudes the warm embrace of natural wood, imbuing every corner with a cozy ambiance.
  • Earthen floors: Many machiya proudly boast earthen floors, an age-old practice that creates an ideal environment, regulating temperature and humidity within the house.
  • Lattice windows: Adorned with elegant lattice patterns, machiya windows allow soft sunlight to gently permeate the interiors while ensuring your privacy.
  • Engawa: Enhancing the allure of a machiya, you’ll often find a picturesque veranda or engawa gracefully adorning the front of the house, inviting you to unwind and revel in the beauty of the outdoors.

Benefits of Living in a Machiya

Now, you may wonder why residing in a machiya would be an exceptional choice. Here are just a few of the enchanting advantages:

  • Embrace history and culture: A machiya offers an unparalleled living experience that seamlessly connects you with the rich history and captivating culture of Kyoto.
  • Endearing charm and character: Each machiya possesses a distinctive charm and character, immersing you in a world of traditional elegance that stands apart from other housing options.
  • Unexpected spaciousness: Despite their slender facade, machiya unveil surprisingly spacious living areas, ensuring ample room for you and your family, making it an ideal choice for a truly comfortable lifestyle.
  • Prime location: Machiya are often nestled in Kyoto’s most desirable neighborhoods, placing you at the heart of the city’s cultural and entertainment offerings. Experience the vibrant tapestry of Kyoto right at your doorstep.
  • Resale value: The enduring appeal of machiya makes them highly sought-after by buyers, offering excellent resale value should you choose to sell in the future.

If you’re looking for a unique and charming living experience in Kyoto, a machiya might be the perfect option for you. These traditional wooden townhouses offer a glimpse into Kyoto’s rich history and culture, and they provide a comfortable and spacious living space in some of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods. Contact our real estate company to learn more about the machiya we have available for sale in Kyoto.

You may also like …

Discover the Charm of “Shoutengai”

Discover the Charm of “Shoutengai”

In the heart of Kyoto, Japan's cultural capital, lies a special place that embodies community and local living—the enchanting world of Shoutengai. These lively shopping streets have been an important part of Japanese culture for many years. In this blog post, we'll...